Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Newsy Tidbits from Elder Knorr

We received 2 envelopes today with letters to Bob's Pop Pop (Ethan), Agent Orange (Dad) and Megan. Here are some short excerpts, answers to questions we've asked:

Greetings from Spain, the home of TRUE Spanish. Just kidding, just kidding. The Spanish here is actually spoken really fast and rather blended together. We just got a new elder from Ecuador headed to Italy, and his Spanish is wonderfully clear and easy to understand. His name is Elder Pastillo, and we're pretty much awesome friends. Oh yeah, and did I mention that he doesn't speak ANY English? I translate for him at meetings. It's fun!

I know the swine flu is basically over already, but word on the street was that handshaking was banned at the Provo MTC and maybe still is. We just want to spread the Truth, not some strain of swine flu!!

We just do endowments in the Madrid Temple, but I like them! I tried doing one in Spanish with the headset a week ago. It was a total mind workout! But I was still able to understand it all and I enjoyed it a whole lot.

It's not even that hard being DL [District Leader] for these missionaries. They make such a great district! Mostly, I act as a middleman between President Hill and all of the missionaries in my district. I've found that I really get into my calling when I'm looking for ways to bless and help them, though. It's wonderful!

For breakfast, we just choose between a wide variety of breakfast cereals, fruits, yogurts and toast. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, with a soup and an entree which is usually some variation on pork or fish. Dinner is very similar to lunch. then at 9:30 we're allowed to run up and have a little snack if we want to. For all meals, we can select little snacks or desserts out of this little refrigerated section. They have yogurt, fruit, sometimes Jello (pronounced "Hey-Oh") and these wonderful little cups of chocolate pudding with whipped cream on top called La Copa, which I enjoy. I also like this melon that they serve. No one has been able to identify it yet, but it basically tastes like canteloupe, honeydew and watermelon combined. Perhaps it's a SUPERMELON....

I love companion life! It's nice to have someone with you all the time, basically living the same life as you. Me and Elder Langston really enjoy each other's company and are having a great time!

We're getting new elders all the time here. This week, we got Elder Pastillo as well as Elders Kober and Magistro. They're all going to Italy, and between all of them they know about 10 languages. Elder Pastillo knows Spanish and some Italian, along with this crazy Ecuadorian tribal language. Elder Kober speaks good English, but he's from Austria (German). He also knows Latin. Elder Magistro is from Tuscany in Italy and speaks "survival English." All the other elders joke that they're the "Tower of Babel" companionship because the three of them can hardly understand each other. It's hilarious!

The park that we contact in is ENORMOUS. I find new stuff every time I go there. There's all kinds of people jogging or walking their dog or just sitting down on a bench reading the newspaper "El Mundo" or something. We always go for the bench-sitters because they are easier to start a conversation with. Sometimes you'll get a good one, but often they don't want to talk about the Church or religion. We still try though!

We found this discount clothes shop a couple of weeks back. Me and Elder Langston went there and I bought a SWEET tie! It's black and silver stripes and looks deadly-classy when I wear it with my pinstripes. Best thing is that I got it for 4 Euro. It was marked at 5 but the shop lady said "Para vosotros, cuatro" [for you, 4]. I'll bet we're her best customers, "we" being CCM missionaries :)

People ACTUALLY use vosotros [formal form of Spanish] here. From my previous experience, I'm still not totally used to it yet. And people are very friendly too! They are also wonderfully straightforward and honest, which I actually appreciate.

Here is a bird's eye view of Madrid Temple Plaza.

We live on Plantas 4,5 & 6 of the red brick building next to the temple. Floor 4 is where the sacrament hall, classes and secretary's office are. Also, there's the library, which we call the Armory because of it's exceedingly many Book of Mormons. Floor 5 is sleeping quarters, and Floor 6 is the cafeteria. I love it here! I love studying the scriptures so much.

My favorite Spanish food is this white rice they cook with a little bit of oil. When they put this red tomato sauce on it, it's DELICIOUS. I always ask for seconds, and our Spanish-speaking cooks always reply "Si, por supuesto" [Yes, of course]. I love those wonderful old's true. They're good at what they do. And I'm grateful they do it!

My favorite scripture at this point in time is probably the story of Ammon the missionary, just because it's so applicable to my life right now.

I'm still doing really well here. I'm nervous and excited that I'm actually going to be in the field in two weeks! [Less than one week now.] So far I've just been in training. In 2 weeks, I'll be in the field for real! I'm really nervous, but I know Heavenly Father will help me do the work that He's called me to do.

I'm loving the mission! I never knew there was so much I could get out of the scriptures! This really is the True Church, and it can help everyone.

Elder Knorr